If the City Council gives the green light Tuesday, crews will finish an effort started 10 years ago to replace water mains in Modesto's airport neighborhood.
The result should be stronger flows for fire protection and more reliable water service for residents, city staff said.
The Public Works Department wants to put its crews to work replacing the steel mains, some of which are more than 60 years old and were part of the Del Este Water Co. system. The city purchased Del Este in 1995 and later replaced half of the old mains in the airport neighborhood before shifting attention elsewhere.
Customers won't see improved service until the rest of the lines are replaced.
The proposed upgrades include 15,000 feet of 8-inch pipe, 323 service connections and water meters, and 21 fire hydrants.
The council is being asked to extend the contracting authority of City Manager Greg Nyhoff to approve using city crews or it will need to seek bids from contractors.
According to a staff report, the cost of the upgrades is not to exceed $1.4 million. The department hopes to start the work in October and finish in eight months.
Dave Savidge, water system manager for Modesto, said Public Works crews have responded to almost 40 water leaks in the airport neighborhood in four years. Two of those leaks occurred in the past month.
"This is going to save on maintenance and repair costs and improve the system" for customers, he said. "When we put in the mains there will be minimal interruptions in service and residents will be notified."
Tuesday, the council will meet behind closed doors to confer with its labor negotiators. The city continues to seek concessions from employee unions with a goal of balancing the general fund budget for the fiscal year that started July 1.
The City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2321.